As the ten of you know, I am not a journalist. No, just a commentator expressing my point of view. However, I feel duty-bound to express my sadness at the passing of Barry Humphries. On his passing, it seems there are those who whilst grudgingly acknowledging his undeniable talent also refuse to accept that he had the right to hold an opinion let alone the courage to express it.

Often this was done by way of his alto egos Dame Edna or Les, Australia’s most senior diplomat, however, just as often Humphries injected into many debates his wonderful one-liners leaving us chuckling but thinking.

Wokedom was never going to fit well with Humphries, and, dare I say it, many of us, but the current cancellation of debate with or without humour is both disappointing and dangerous. 

There was an important Comedic award, the Barry award, cancelled, no debate, just cancelled by some that didn’t share his views. Remarkably, my temporary absence a while ago was a result of being cancelled. Now woke cancellation prevents general interchange of views, not so in the world of racing, indeed we are fortunate there are still those with the courage to invest, hold an optimistic view of their judgement which is generally exposed for all to see. That is why I am a stickler for the facts. You know, what time did they run, how has the mare bred, the trainer, is he or she as good as perceived, do we as breeders succeed where others have not, and most importantly how good is the sire. After all with the number of mares individually covered generally well over one hundred the sire can have a disproportionate effect on results. 

Having had the good fortune to have stood perceived successful sires from Centaine, Pompeii Court, Pins, O’Reilly, and Sacred Falls the best of whom was O’Reilly leaving to date 95 stakes winners which places him the fourth most successful sire of those that never dual-hemisphered ever in NZ to date. Savabeel is currently sitting at second with his 134 stakes winners. Will he catch the mighty Zabeel at 165? Tt would be a big effort, there are current sires sitting on lifetime 30 who are considered successful, and Savabeel this year to date has sired 11 new stakes winners with 13 all told.

So he would need three more years at that level to sneak up on his sire. Can he, his 15 crops of racing age is 9 per crop, it would be nice but his achievement in attaining second to Zabeel, heading off the mighty Sir Tristram is a fact that we are proud of.

Service fees are being reviewed for the upcoming breeding season, the question is often asked as your sires increase in price, how did you arrive at the figure? Quite simply because you can. The market will determine if you are right or not, isn’t that great, a true test of value? 

Having said that, the current announcements in Australia are further confirmation of the positivity over there. There will be many of us who will remember when it was the other way around and that’s a fact!

Dame Edna would have little trouble in taking the – – – – out of the above turnaround, “my darlings, you’ve lost your way, poor darlings”.

Cheers to the courageous Barry Humphries, perhaps in the absence of Peter Vlandys to sort us out, a year or two of Dame Edna would have least kept us in good humour.



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